Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda are on the road to recovery for the New York Yankees with both continuing their respective rehabs, while CC Sabathia finally went under the knife to fix his ailing knee.
Here are the latest updates on the trio of starters missing from the Yanks rotation at the moment.
Nothing has changed in regard to Tanaka's cloudy future as it pertains to returning in 2014, however the Yankees should know more about his elbow after the next two weeks, per Daniel Barbarisi of The Wall Street Journal:
Girardi says Yankees wont really know much new about tanaka for two more weeks. Pitcher told girardi he is feeling better though.
— Daniel Barbarisi (@DanBarbarisi) July 23, 2014
The good news here is that Tanaka is feeling better. It was only a week or so ago when Tanaka said he still felt some pain, but clearly that has subsided and the Yanks ace is recovering through the early stages of his injury.
The risk is still remains that Tanaka will need Tommy John surgery. Any setback will not only end his 2014 campaign, but it will also likely necessitate the right-hander having the dreaded surgery, which means he will miss the 2015 season as well.
After multiple setbacks, Pineda is once again trying to return to the mound for the Yankees and is one step closer to doing so after throwing live batting practice.
Chad Jennings of the LoHud Yankees Blog reports that Pineda is ready to throw a simulated game on Thursday, and the 25-year-old will throw 30 pitches or two innings in the outing:
Michael Pineda will throw a sim game tomorrow. Two innings or 30 pitches. Threw live BP this weekend.
— Lohud Yankees Blog (@LoHudYankees) July 23, 2014
Pineda is another pitcher who can't afford a setback. If anything goes wrong in the next few weeks to a month, Pineda will undoubtedly be shutdown for the season and his tenure in the Bronx could come to an end if the Yanks choose to non-tender him following the season.
Should he return, Pineda would give manager Joe Girardi's starting rotation a huge boost. Pineda was throwing to a 1.83 ERA before he went down in April.
Sabathia finally underwent arthroscopic surgery to help his knee injury, according to Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com:
CC had his knee surgery today but Girardi had no info on it
— wallace matthews (@ESPNNYYankees) July 23, 2014
Despite the surgery, Sabathia isn't out of the woods just yet. He still has a degenerative knee condition, but the hope is this surgery will help that and enable the big left-hander to get back on the mound in 2015.
Should his knee condition not improve, it could spell the end of the 33-year-old's career. Sabathia would then need microfracture surgery and that would be a terrible break for him, as microfracture surgery has often been the kiss of death for athletes' careers.
Sabathia has already said he fears for his career, although that fear was put on hold since he didn't immediately need the microfracture procedure. With all the money he's owed, the Yanks may be better off if Sabathia never returns at all.
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